17 Aug 2022 12:31 pm
During his visit to Berlin, Palestinian President Abbas accused Israel of a “Holocaust” against the Palestinians after a journalist confronted him with the question of “Palestinian terrorists”. Israel has committed 50 massacres since 1947, Abbas said. The incident sparked outrage among German politicians.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz discussed the Middle East conflict and the Palestinian issue at their meeting in Berlin on Tuesday. Although Germany remains officially committed to a “negotiated two-state solution” to settle the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, Scholz said the German government does not support the Palestinian initiative to obtain full state recognition from the United Nations. The Palestinian autonomy enjoys observer status at the UN; it is “now not the time to change this status”.
Abbas underlined at the time that the Palestinians were trying to save the two-state solution from failing, in order to create a political perspective for ending the Israeli occupation since 1967 and a just solution for the Palestinian refugees.
The meeting between Abbas and Scholz was overshadowed by a Holocaust comparison by the Palestinian President, which caused outrage among German parties and in Israel. During his visit to Berlin, Abbas accused Israel of multiple “Holocausts” against the Palestinians. “Israel has committed 50 massacres in 50 Palestinian locations since 1947 to this day,” Abbas said at the joint press conference with the German Chancellor, adding: “50 massacres, 50 holocausts.”
He had previously been asked by a journalist whether he would apologize to Israel on the 50th anniversary of the attack on the Israeli Olympic team in Munich by “Palestinian terrorists”. Abbas explained that there were dead people killed by the Israeli army every day.
Scholz initially did not object because his spokesman Steffen Hebestreit declared the press conference over immediately after Abbas’ answer. Of the Bild the Chancellor said on Tuesday evening: “Especially for us Germans, any relativization of the Holocaust is intolerable and unacceptable.”
CDU leader Friedrich Merz criticized Scholz’s handling of the incident on Twitter as “incomprehensible”. The chancellor should have “clearly contradicted the Palestinian president and asked him to leave the house!” he wrote. From the point of view of the Federal Government’s Anti-Semitism Commissioner, Felix Klein, the Palestinian President’s statement “lacked any sensitivity towards us German hosts”. Israeli Prime Minister Jair Lapid also condemned Abbas’ Holocaust comparison. “For Mahmoud Abbas to accuse Israel of committing 50 holocausts while standing on German soil is not only a moral disgrace but a blatant lie,” Lapid tweeted.
Mahmoud Abbas accusing Israel of having committed “50 Holocausts” while standing on German soil is not only a moral disgrace, but a monstrous lie.Six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, including one and a half million Jewish children.History will never forgive him.
— Yair Lapid (@yairlapid) August 16, 2022
The International Auschwitz Committee also sharply criticized Abbas’ statement and the reaction of the German side. Executive Vice President Christoph Heubner said that President Abbas “purposefully used the political stage in Berlin to defame the German culture of remembrance and the relationship with the State of Israel”.
However, the Chancellor contradicted statements made by Abbas about apartheid at the press conference. Scholz said he expressly did not adopt this judgment; this is not the position of the federal government. Abbas had previously stated that Israel was using the methods of an apartheid system towards the Palestinian people.
In February, the human rights organization Amnesty International accused Israel of “the crime of apartheid” in a report on its treatment of the Palestinians. The Comprehensive Message titled “Israel’s Apartheid Against the Palestinians: Cruel System of Regime and Crimes Against Humanity,” explains how massive confiscations of Palestinian land and property, unlawful killings, forcible resettlement, drastic restrictions on movement, and the denial of citizenship and citizenship to Palestinians are components of a system , which amounts to apartheid under international law.
more on the subject – Amnesty International classifies Israel as an apartheid state